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psychotherapy for breast cancer

what kind of psychotherapy is available both pre and post surgery ?  What are the issues for women who have  breast surgery for  cancer?  How are partners of women who have breast surgery affected?


This discussion is related to Post surgery counseling.
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25201 tn?1255580836
I'm not sure psychotherapy would be necessary for pt.s being treated for breast cancer. That seems rather severe to me. Most hospitals offer support groups dealing with breast cancer and most meet on a monthly basis. The Amer. Cancer Soc. also has a group called "Reach For Recovery"... made up of volunteers (breast cancer Survivors) who contact women after breast surgery and offer whatever type of support that is needed. At times this contact is made in the hosp. but with the short hosp. stays it's more often done by phone. The Susan G. Komen Foundation (which is National) also can direct pt.s to various agencies for support of any kind.
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Avatar universal
It all depends on your support system and how well you handle things.  I would not exclude Psychotherapy for anyone who feels they need it.  If memory recalls, I contacted ACS for support.  Although they can answer many questions, I feel there volunteer support for me was a major failure.  I'll tell you why.  Many of these volunteers are barely out there with there own experience.  And although some can be helpful, others are not.  I reached out to them and this is what happened.  They hooked me up with someone. The day she called me I was having a particularly hard day.  She assured me she would contact me the next morning.  I never heard from her again.  Im assuming she couldn't deal with it herself.    Or maybe my experience was just taught her that she wasnt ready yet. It caused me to lose faith in the support system very fast.  
Then I turned to the major hosptial in our area.  I was given the name of the  area support supervisor.  When I called the number, her husband said, Oh, she passed away 5 months ago.  I felt even worse than before.  I never called one more support group after that.  There was no other support to draw off from.  My extended family did not care enough about me to even check on me during 6 months of chemo.
So, if you feel you are need of a therapist, then by all means you do what you have to do to get support to help you work through this.
Cancer is an experience like no other.  Your whole life changes forever.  
So I do not believe therapy is out of the question for anyone who feels they may need it..  To suggest that would be a bit exteme, and making someone feel guilty for even considering it is unethical and reckless.  Cancer IS extreme and like no other.   Not everyone handles things the same way and if someone is considering it, by all means you do what you have to do to help yourself get through this. Especially if you have no other support system. I would highly recommend it if that's what you feel you need..
I think it is a very legitimate question.  
I personally turned to God first, then I contacted a Psychotherapist.  I was in very good hand from then on.  I have now worked thorugh it and am doing well.  
Take care,  sammie
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Avatar universal
I receive counseling  twice a month via www.cancercare.org, from a person with a MSW, who is very knowledgeable in this area...plus it's free so far.  I hope this will help you in your search. I will need to see her this week because my doc is asking for payment before each Chemo treatment...I said I could do that but I see now I can't; I have to find other means...Medicare has suggested I find a doc who will bill them... thought I had.
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Avatar universal
Its' me again.  My husband put on a very brave front for about three weeks.  Then one day as I was lying down, he came in and laid down on top of me and cried like a baby. It was hard for me because I was he source of painb.  It took him three weeks and then some for it to settle in. He doesn't talk about it unless I get angry and make him face it so he can deal with it,  They worry and they feel guilty and frustrated because there is little aside from what the doctor is doing to fix things.  Men are fixers and if they can't fix things, they feel helpless.  It hits them alot harder than they let on so try to stay tuned to his feelings whether he is or not.  
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Avatar universal
http://www.cancercare.org/

Link here for  my counseling organization...They do online,   telephone, and face to face counseling. There is absolutely nothing out of bounds about seeking counseling. I am a RN and  have counseled in my time,  but I desperately need counseling with this diagnosis.
Take care


http://www.cancercare.org/get_help/counseling.php
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326352 tn?1310994295
For husbands (partners), there is a wonderful book called Breast Cancer Husband.  My husband read it and really got a lot out of it.  I myself had counseling from Pregnant With Cancer and also from my mom who is a survivor.  If you do not have a good support group with whom you can talk, then seek counseling.  
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394017 tn?1255014532
I second your recommendation of "Breast Cancer Husband".  I bought it for my husband, off of Amazon.com, as I was buying the Dr. Susan Love book for myself.  It helped my husband, who is an analytical chemist.  He is used to analyzing data and then planning a course of action.  In this case he couldn't really do that at the start, when we just knew it was cancer but don't have the complete pathology.  He learned that this time he just needed to be there to listen sometimes.  

I posted a couple weeks earlier, what happened when I reached out for help with a counselor, and his wife ( who I know and had been friendly with) answered the phone and started telling me what I should do!  So much for counseling for me after that.  I also called the Reach for Recovery number that was given to me by the social worker at the hospital.  I got a male volunteer on the line who sounded to be about 20 yrs. old.  I did NOT want to talk to some young guy about this.  

I went to a support group offered by this same hospital after I found out I had Fibromyalgia in April 2008.  I don't think support groups are for me.  There was so much whining going on that I came away more down hearted than when I walked through the doors.  Most of them were not willing to exercise and stretch which is key to that disease.  I wanted to learn about what I could do to help myself and they talked over the social worker who was trying to lead the meeting.  It has made me "twice shy" about support groups.  And, be careful what information you give the other members!!!  The one positive out of going for the 2nd time, is I met another woman I really liked and now we meet separately.  She gave her phone number to the group rooster (while I didn't) and the woman who seemed to be the nuttiest, started calling her and wanting to have long talks on the phone.  So, I would say that if you decide to explore a support group, do so slowly and kind of be an observer until you see if it works for you.  There is no right or wrong, just what works for you as an individual.  Take care, Kay
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Avatar universal
Some doctors do not recommend a certain percentage of cancer patients to even use support groups just for the simple fact that they sometimes walk away more depressed.  It does help to talk to others and its a good thing we have Medhelp.   But be careful using support groups. they sometimes are not all they are cracked up to be.  
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